Kinsale Alpha platform; Source: PSE

PSE Kinsale Energy ceases gas production from Kinsale field

PSE Kinsale Energy has ceased its gas production at the Kinsale area gas fields in the Celtic Sea after 42 years of production.

Kinsale Alpha platform; Source: PSE

PSE, a Petronas subsidiary since 2009, announced in April 2018 that the gas reserves from the field were depleting.

According to the company, all necessary measures are being undertaken to safely decommission the facilities and with due regard to the environment.

A decommissioning plan was submitted to the Department of Communications, Climate Action, and Environment (DCCAE) in June 2018 and was approved in April 2019.

As part of the planning process, an environmental impact assessment report (EIAR) and an appropriate assessment screening report were prepared following EU directives.

The Kinsale area gas fields were developed since 1978 and remained Ireland’s only indigenous source of natural gas until 2015.

PSE said that by the time gas production ceased, almost two trillion cubic feet of gas had been produced at the Kinsale area gas fields which was double the original reserve estimate.

Offshore decommissioning activities are currently underway and are expected to continue over the next two to three years.

All wells will be permanently plugged and the associated facilities – platforms, pipelines, cables, subsea structures, and the Inch onshore terminal – will be decommissioned.

PSE Kinsale Energy CEO Fergal Murphy said: “The Kinsale area gas fields have reached the end of their productive life which marks a very significant milestone in the history of gas exploration and production in Ireland.

Initially, the Kinsale Head, and latterly the Ballycotton, Seven Heads, and South-West Kinsale gas fields have, over the past 40 years, contributed significantly to the local economy and the development of the natural gas industry in Ireland.

Over the next two to three years, we will focus on decommissioning the facilities safely, efficiently, and with regard to the environment, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulatory requirements”.

Kinsale field; Source: PSE
Kinsale field; Source: PSE

As for the Kinsale field, it consists of two steel platforms, some 50 kilometres offshore in the Celtic Sea, installed as part of the initial field development, commissioned in 1978.

There are also several subsea wells which were drilled to produce smaller gas discoveries. These wells are connected to the platforms using underwater pipelines and control cables.

A 24-inch pipeline connects the platforms to the Inch gas metering terminal which connects to the national gas network.